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PROVIDENCE -- According to the firm hired to liquidate the company's assets, DB Cos., owner of the DB Mart convenience store and gas station chain, has accepted bids to sell 87 of its stores and auctioned the remaining 61 last week, reported the Providence Journal.
The Pawtucket, R.I.-based chain is owned by several members of the DeBlois family, and is headed by Arthur J. DeBlois III, grandson of the company founder. However, some of the DeBlois family shareholders are questioning whether liquidating the company is the best way to resolve its financial troubles.
DB Cos. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, saying it has been struggling to compete against national chains and family-owned stores, according to documents submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
"The company has faced competitive pressures that have led it to suffer operating losses," testified Dan Cohn, an attorney for DB Cos., at the court in June. The company, he told the court, "is cash constrained to the point where management concluded and the board concluded that there was really no choice but to sell the company’s assets."
In 2003, DB Cos. had about 570 employees and sales of $172.1 million, up 7.4 percent from 2002. It had an operating loss of about $3.1 million, the company said in the filings. It has liabilities totaling $65 million, including $37 million in secured debt owed to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. Assets were estimated between $50 million and $100 million.
The company sold off its 147 stores and stations at a two-day auction held last week, including 25 in Rhode Island, 56 in Connecticut, 45 in Massachusetts and 22 in New York. The company raised $71 million by selling the properties.
The sale is being handled by Matrix Capital Markets Group of Baltimore. Matrix had assigned minimum bids for each of the stores. The total of all minimum bids was $44.1 million, according to Maxtrix's Web site.
The Delaware bankruptcy court is scheduled to hold a hearing on the store sales on Sept. 2.